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The Cleaners #2

The Maids of Wrath

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After surviving employee orientation without destroying the city with her new powers, Dani is finally a bonafide Cleaner. Raring to get to work and save the world from Corruption, she’s given the critical assignment of...full-time tools training. After all, what good are magic mops or squeegees if she doesn’t know how to properly wield them against Scum? For now, she’s stuck in sparring matches where her pride is getting as bruised as her body.
Ben, her janitor friend and mentor, is also struggling with being sidelined as a “consultant” after the loss of his powers. His only consolation is having gained information that could help solve the mystery of his wife’s death on a Sewer run gone horribly wrong—the same event that temporarily trashed his sanity.
But when a maid goes berserk during a training session and tries to slaughter everyone with a feather duster, something is clearly afoul within the ranks of the Cleaners themselves.
Company procedure brooks no compromise: Identify and quarantine the source of the Corruption at all costs. But who cleans the Cleaners? Especially when further enraged outbreaks seem to occur at random?
As bodies begin to create quite the messy heap, it’s only a matter of time before the whole company is consumed by the madness—taking Dani and Ben down the drain with it.

305 pages, ebook

Published April 11, 2016

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About the author

Josh Vogt

51 books70 followers
Author Josh Vogt’s work covers fantasy, science fiction, horror, humor, pulp, and more. His debut fantasy novel is Pathfinder Tales: Forge of Ashes, alongside the launch of his urban fantasy series, The Cleaners, with Enter the Janitor, The Maids of Wrath, and The Dustpan Cometh. He’s a freelance writer and editor, a Scribe Award and Compton Crook Award nominee, and a member of both SFWA and the International Association of Media Tie-In Writers. Find him at JRVogt.com or on Twitter @JRVogt.

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Displaying 1 - 13 of 13 reviews
Profile Image for Jenna.
42 reviews1 follower
December 9, 2016
I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review. (Seriously, Mr. Vogt went so far as to remind folks that he didn't want "only positive reviews" but anything from not-so-great to "downright damning.") The good news - for Vogt and readers - is that The Maids of Wrath was a dazzlingly fun read.

When the Cleaners are beset with an emotion-twisting affliction, it's up to Dani and the others to find out what's going on and put a stop to it before their entire HQ is put into quarantine (which translates to a state of perpetual suspension with no known time limit). Complete with its own mystery, this entry into the Cleaners series brings up mysteries from the previous book and layers on the intrigue. There's definitely an impression that Vogt has a lot more ground to cover before the Cleaners are all washed up.

It is a sequel to the previous Cleaners series book, Enter the Janitor, and picks up with characters that I assumed were the focus of that book. However, it didn't take long before I was on my feet, as a reader, and moving along with the narrative. Vogt did a spectacular job setting up The Maids of Wrath in such a way that a reader inexperienced with the previous text could jump right in. He was also pretty light with the reminders of events from the previous novel; while I can't say from experience that they wouldn't be too repetitive for a reader of Enter the Janitor, I can say that I've read series before and recognized the light touch approach here that finds the sweet spot between too much information about a previous installment and too little. That's definitely a huge plus in this book's favor.

Beyond that, Vogt's humor is refreshing, and caused me to laugh out loud while reading more than once. In particular, Dani feels that being forbidden to use her powers during her training is "about as fair as not letting a person use their mouth in a pie-eating contest." In addition, the pacing make this an exceedingly easy read. The action never gets too amped up or bogged down. I found the characters memorable and even quite likable - those that left room to be liked (even gruff Lucy).

If you're looking for some good clean fun, you cannot go wrong with this book. Doubly so if you already loved the first one!

As a somewhat aside, Vogt gives the rather mundane notion of cleaning a whole new life in this series. At one point - when the functionality of Dani's bucket is described - I earnestly wished for a tabletop or computer RPG conversion of this universe. The level of detail and thought are apparent in brilliant jewel-like moments like this.
Profile Image for BookLoversLife.
1,803 reviews9 followers
May 19, 2016
I thoroughly enjoyed book 1 of this and couldn't wait to listen to this one! In this edition, Dani's training has really taken off and she is learning how to use the tools of the trade. With Ben being deemed out of action, she is teamed with new people and thrown into the deep end when suddenly Maids start attacking everyone! The whole Cleaners compound is in trouble and will be put in stasis if Dani and co can't find out who is behind this!!

Once again, we have an action packed read. We are brought into the action from the get go and it doesn't let up once throughout! The gang are thrown into perilous situation after perilous situation yet don't give up. This one is also quite darker than book 1!! We see some icky things but the villain and what he does is pretty dark!

Character wise, Dani is as kick ass and germophobic as ever. She still struggles with her fear of germs but doesn't let it get in her way either. Poor Ben is relegated down the chain and struggles with his own problems. He is trying to deal with losing his powers but also getting answers about what happened with his wife. We also have some new folk thrown into the mix! The twins are awesome!! Loved their interactions with themselves and others.

In all, this was another great edition in The Cleaners universe. Dark, action packed and engaging, this is a must read! I have become invested in these characters and can't wait to see where their journey takes them!

Michael Gilboe does a great job with the narration again. He is easy to listen to and distinguishes his voices perfectly so it's easy to hear who is talking.

*I received a copy of this for review. This in no way affected my thoughts.*
116 reviews
August 13, 2017
This is the first time I have ever read a fantasy book, and I was happily surprised. The action was fast paced, and I think it would make a great special effects movie! The characters, (Dani, Ben, the Twins, etc...) are well written, interesting, and resilient. I especially liked the everyday objects such as the mop that were more than everyday objects, and the teamwork was pretty cool too.

Based on a five-star rating, I give it five stars!
1) Buy from the author in the future? Yes
2) Did it keep me intrigued? Yes
3) Story line adventurous, mysterious, and believable? Yes
4) Would I recommend to a family member/friend? Yes.
5) Did my idea of the book based on the cover remain the same after I read the book? Yes. The book's illustration made me smile and interested in the story. The art depicts an action adventure that has a magical twist.
Profile Image for Elisabeth.
813 reviews14 followers
February 2, 2018
Not as engaging as the first one, a few editing gaffes and some clumsy writing, but the concept is still brilliant and story is fun. On the other hand, having a main character speak in dialect is incredibly difficult and annoying to read. I imagine the author's pretty tired of writing it by now too, but I guess we're both stuck.

Still I'll probably read the third one eventually.
Profile Image for Robin Lynn.
79 reviews1 follower
February 13, 2016
The Maids of Wrath Dani is a cleaner, learning to wield the tools of her trade, mops, squeegies, pails, sponges...Why training you ask? Because becoming a cleaner isn't about making a building sparkle, it's about cleansing the Scum out of a place. After all, cleaners, janitors, window washers, handy men, maids...They are more special than you'd imagine.
Dani is a special version of a cleaner, one who can access all the elements to help her combat the Scum, most cleaners can only effectively use one. Her training is rudely interrupted by a maid going berserk, trying to kill another maid. Her trainer Ben, lost his special abilities in an accident that cost Ben his powers and his arm, but his wife as well. But it's up to Dani, Ben, Ben's former partner Lucy, and the twins Laurel & Hardy, to stop whatever sickness has infected the cleaners, and save the world.
Josh Vogt's latest work is a race against time to purge a new kind of Scum, one that is undetectable from every measure the cleaners employ. It's filled with action, unlikely friendships, and a rather icky antagonist. And he's icky in every sense of the word, from the convoluted depths of his mind, to the raising of his dead family, to his role in trying to bring down all of humanity.
It's a highly enjoyable read, well paced, and very descriptive. The characters are well developed, but I do want to know more about them, especially Dani. There's not much revealed about her past, and it made me want to read more, to see what else I could glean about her. I'm assuming that was intentional, to reel the reader in, and leave them wanting more. 
*EDIT* Mt Vogt's previous book in the series, Enter the Janitor, contains much of Dani's backstory. It tells how she learned of the cleaners and joined their ranks. It's not necessary to read them in order, as evidenced by my being able to pick up the second book and find it a complete story, but I'm sure it'll make The Maids of Wrath that much better. 
The book wrapped itself up neatly, not solving *all* the mysteries, but to a satisfactory conclusion. If it were a standalone novel, I'd be happy. But as part of a series, I'm intrigued. I want to know where the characters go with the bits and pieces of information they've discovered. I'm sure that the next book will be as engrossing as this, and will be just as entertaining to read. I'm going to pick up the first book this afternoon, and will be waiting expectantly for the next book to drop.
In the interest of disclosure, Mr. Vogt provided me an ARC of this book in return for an honest and unbiased review.
72 reviews2 followers
April 23, 2016
This is a review of the audiobook edition of The Maids of Wrath by Josh Vogt, narrated by Michael Gilboe. Maids of Wrath is the sequel to Enter the Janitor. If you haven’t listened to/read Enter the Janitor first, you won’t have much of an idea of what is going on in Maids. The author doesn’t waste any time with backstory, for which I am grateful, and picks up where the first novel stops.

I enjoyed the “weapons training” (with mops and razor-bladed squeegees) and wish it could have been expounded on but the brown smelly stuff hits the spinning turbines pretty early in the novel and things are hectic all the way to the end. The plot is engaging and, once you start listening, there really is no time to take a breath or a dull moment to hit “pause”.

In Maids Dani, the female protagonist, interacts more with other cleaners than her mentor, Ben, and we get a peek at just how dark and dangerous a Janitor’s job can be. Dani’s co-workers are not the characterless “Redshirts” of the Away Team, serving only as cannon fodder while Dani and Ben save the day, and we will be seeing several of them in later sequels, I am sure. Overall, Maids is darker than the first book and we see Dani maturing and accepting her calling as a Maid. The one thing I didn’t enjoy about Maids was hardly a mention of Dani’s germ phobias. It was mentioned twice that I remember so she hasn’t been “cured” but, other than a passing reference, it wasn’t a factor. It was a glaring faux pas, like the character Monk (of the TV series) doing an episode dressed in a plaid suit without any explanation. Personally, that was the thing I liked the most about the first book, experiencing Dani’s phobia-induced panic from one germ-laden scene to the next, but with the second novel: nothing. I hope the author reconsiders Dani’s “growth”; one doesn’t just overcome OCD or any other condition in a span of days…

The narrator, Michael Gilboe, did an excellent job. He really made each character come to life with individual voices and accents and was consistent with each throughout the story. There were no production or audio problems but I have to say “WTF!?” when it comes to the intro and outro music selection.

Bottom Line: Maids of Wrath is a solid continuation of a very interesting urban fantasy series that promises lots of sequels.

I received a free copy of Maids of Wrath in exchange for an unbiased and honest review.
Profile Image for Sanzaki Kojika.
Author 35 books105 followers
February 1, 2016
The Cleaners series first off takes a unique take on magic by relating it to something most people think of as totally mundane...cleaning. The set up for the series as whole is very entertaining. The well-thought out magic-based cleaning system is a strong backbone for the story. It makes you not want to take Janitors, Plungers, Handyman, and others in that industry for granted (and I remember what happened when they got rid of telephone cleaners!).

Book 2, Maids of Wrath, is like an icy plunge into the world of the Cleaners. While the first book offered an introduction to the world and the characters, book 2 showed even more insight into the actual Cleaners, as well as deeper insight to the characters. It's hard to put down, and I felt myself cringing every time something bad happened to any of the characters (but especially Ben and Dani). The story is full of mysteries, and every time you think you are about to get to the bottom of one, another springs up. It's action packed and will keep you guessing long after its conclusion (and impatiently waiting for the sequel).

Vogt's writing style is fun and easy to read. His story-telling has an almost light-hearted feel to such a building darkness. The characters are multi-dimensional and real; it's hard to dislike any of them (although it's possible for a few). The internal struggle for both Ben and Dani is heartbreaking and inspirational. It's easy to get pulled into the story and feel you are right there in it with them. Each chapter flows nicely together. The switch from Dani to Ben and back again was so natural that it didn't disrupt the storytelling, and rather, it made you want to read more.

If you enjoy stories with magic and mystery, it's a definite read. I feel myself almost apt to compare it to a similar tone and impression as the Dresden Files, but it's also completely different.
Profile Image for Regina.
253 reviews1 follower
November 30, 2016
Slightly more serious than Enter the Janitors, but still a mystery with a sense of humor. In this second book, we get to see more of Dani and Ben...and even Jarrod, the demi god. We now know that there is definitely something very special about Ben (not just Dani) and that he still has a purpose in the Cleaners but we don't find out very much about what it is and he does not make very much progress on his beloved wife's death.

We do get to meet a few new characters (literally) who help along the way. I especially like the twins and Lucy. The opponent was a formidable one and promised, in the end, that there is more cleaning to be done before Purity is safe!

I am looking forward to the next installment in this series and, hopefully, there will be more in it to explain Dani, Ben, and Jarrod and Ben will finally get some answers about what happened to him and his wife.

I received this audiobook for free through Audiobook Boom! in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Beth Cato.
Author 114 books563 followers
July 7, 2016
If you have read a lot of urban fantasy, love it, but want to find something totally innovative, check out this series. Supernatural sanitation workers! That says it all.

This second volume in the Cleaners series continues to be a fast and enjoyable read, even as it delves into grim territory at times. Much of Enter the Janitor involved Dani discovering and accepting her new cleaning prowess; here, she fumbles to wield her new power as more is revealed about the history and dark potential of the Cleaners and Scum. The pace is very fast, with the darkness lightened somewhat by fun banter with an expanding cast of characters, as well as old favorites like Tetris the lizard and Carl the water-elemental-in-a-spray-bottle. I really like how Vogt is raising the stakes, and I'm curious about where things will go from here.
3 reviews
April 30, 2016
I met Josh Vogt at Emerald City Comicon, and was delighted to find Enter the Janitor and The Maids of Wrath lived up to his delightful description. The supernatural needs cleaning up after, too, and who better to do so than the everyday heros who already clean up the world around us?
While a series, each book so far also stands on its own. I look forward to the next books in the series!
And I actually own the paperback version, but am unable to select it for writing this review. Its ISBN is 9781614753735.
3 reviews
April 30, 2016
I met Josh Vogt at Emerald City Comicon, and was delighted to find Enter the Janitor and The Maids of Wrath lived up to his delightful description. The supernatural needs cleaning up after, too, and who better to do so than the everyday heros who already clean up the world around us?
While a series, each book so far also stands on its own. I look forward to the next books in the series!
Profile Image for Frank.
181 reviews1 follower
December 15, 2016
I thought this book was so so

couldn't get into it.

It picked up at the end but still not working for me.
Displaying 1 - 13 of 13 reviews

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